“I think smartwatches are beneficial for people who want to live a healthier lifestyle.”, says Dr. Garrett Sanford with the Washington Regional Cardiovascular Clinic. “They want to track their heart rate, they want to eat better. They want to use it to, you know, organize their blood pressure log, organize their blood sugar. So I think they come in very, very handy. Some smartwatches can detect atrial fibrillation, which is an abnormal rhythm from the top of the heart. And when the top of the heart quivers, instead of a normal structured contraction, you run the risk of having a thrombus form, which is a blood clot. And a blood clot can go to the brain and cause a stroke. Atrial fibrillation can be asymptomatic, meaning they have no symptoms at all. Most people will wind up having some palpitations, which is a sense of an irregular heartbeat in the chest, may feel a fast heart rate, may feel diaphragmatic or sweaty, maybe short of breath, or just feel exhausted. If somebody has a detection of atrial fibrillation on their smartwatch, it’s usually wise to start with notifying their primary care physician. A smartwatch cannot detect a stroke. It cannot predict a heart attack and other arrhythmias, which could also be symptomatic. The algorithm is not quite optimal for detection of other rhythms outside of atrial fibrillation. It doesn’t replace routine follow up with your primary care doctor. Management of your lipids. Management of your weight. Management of your high blood pressure routine. Follow ups with your health care provider are going to be a lot more important than relying on a smartwatch for detection of atrial fibrillation.”